Super Crumb Coffee Cake.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

 Because the crumb part… is the best part.

If you’re anything like me, you pick off the crumb topping from your coffee cake.  Or you take the piece with the most crumb topping on it.  If I could make a meal out of crumb topping… believe me, I would.

This is a cinnamon, sugary, buttery crumb-topped coffee cake. Heavy on the crumb.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Today’s coffee cake is an easy-to-follow recipe.  This homemade version of the classic is a far cry from any of those overly-sweet, fake-tasting store bought versions you may be used to. It’s buttery, moist, soft, and pairs well with a morning cup of coffee. Let’s face it, this coffee cake will pair well with an afternoon cup o’ joe too.  Actually, the coffee is optional. You’ll love this cake no matter what you’re drinking with it.

I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook. The bible of baking, I like to call it. A 1,000+ page book of kitchen-tested recipes, tutorials, and baking tips. My Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe – trust me, you need this cookbook. They are the culinary geniuses behind my Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.

The cookbook doesn’t call this cake “super-crumb.”  I do. I baked the crumb cake in a smaller pan than what the recipe states, making the crumb layer in my version thicker for each piece.  Kevin had a slice and asked if there was more crumb topping leftover. Even the “super crumb” wasn’t enough for him. I knew I was marrying this man for a reason. ;)

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

What makes this coffee cake so easy is that the crumb-topping and cake batter all start in the same bowl.  The crumb topping’s ingredients (butter, flour, & sugar) is essentially the cake’s ingredients without any liquid. A recipe deriving both cake and crumb topping from the same mixture was a selling point for me.

Simply combine your flour, sugar, salt, and cut in the butter. I used a whisk to cut the butter in and a large fork to mix everything around until the mixture resembled course crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture and continue with the rest of the cake batter ingredients.

The cup you set aside is your crumb topping. How easy is that?

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The recipe calls for buttermilk.  There are no substitutions for buttermilk here.  I tried.  Since I no longer work in the office, I had the spare minute to test this recipe a couple of times.  Buttermilk is one of the culprits for how moist the cake’s crumb is.  Trust me, you can’t leave it out!  It’s required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake. If you buy a carton of buttermilk, you can use the extra in my Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

You can always make your own buttermilk at home using regular milk + lemon juice.  Here’s how I’ve done it before: Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

Another requirement? Room temperature egg.  Don’t worry, I have a shortcut for that too: Place the egg in a bowl of warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes as you get your other ingredients ready. Easy!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The original recipe called for nuts, but I chose to leave them out.  I increased the vanilla extract used and the brown sugar used as well. I also increased the cinnamon, as per the usual. Love cinnamon.

This cake is a wonderful option to make ahead the night before brunch or even a holiday breakfast, like Mother’s Day coming soon. If busy mornings are the norm in your house, make this coffee cake ahead of time.  That’s exactly what I did. I made it on Saturday morning and on Sunday, it still tasted incredibly fresh. The crumbs were piled high, the cake hidden underneath was moist and tender, and the taste?  Oh so cinnamon-buttery.

In some bites, the crumb layer was thicker than the cake layer! Amazing.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Old-fashioned crumb coffeecake at its finest, my friends.


Super-Crumb Coffee Cake

Serves 8-10. Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  • 1 Tablespoon flour, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, firm and cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously spray a 9-inch springform pan* with cooking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 Tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Cut in the butter in very small pieces using a pastry knife or mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture.
  3. Mix the baking powder and baking soda into the remaining flour mixture. Add the room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla - you may want to do this with a mixer. The batter is very, very thick. Vigorously mix everything together until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting - about 2 full minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture. Toss with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressingly lightly so they stick. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - 50-58 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving (about 2 hours).

*See note in the post about buttermilk substitution.

*See note in the post about bring egg to room temperature quickly.

*Don't have a springform pan? Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.


© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



You won’t mind waking up to a few of my similar recipes for breakfast!

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce


Raspberry Chocolate Coffee Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake


Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake


Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


After one bite of this coffee cake, breakfast will seem like a real treat.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at


256 Responses to “Super Crumb Coffee Cake.”

  1. #
    yaelposted March 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I make this cake all the time for m family and it’s always devoured! This past week I did not have any vanilla extract left in the baking cabinet. Instead I substituted in 1.5 tsps of almond extract, it was amazing! You must try it!


    • Sallyreplied on March 17th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Yes! I’ll have to try it. Happy you love this crumb cake!


  2. #
    Graceposted March 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

    What a fabulous cake! Because it was a rainy ‘home’ day, my sister and I sat down and scrolled through all your amazing baked goods before settling on this one. So glad we did – Amazing! The cake is so so light, fluffy and moist and the contrast of the crispy crunchy crumb. One thing – I did add an extra teaspoon of baking powder as I made your funfetti cake a few weeks ago and it barely rose and was dense and heavy. I live in Australia so I use Plain four for what you call all purpose. Is there some sort of raising agent in your all purpose flour?
    Thanks for such simply yummy recipes!


  3. #
    Happymomposted April 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Is there another pan I can use? I don’t have a springform :(


    • Sallyreplied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.


      • Happymomreplied on April 7th, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Thank you–I just found all the rest of the comments where you had answered the same question! Sorry I didn’t see it sooner, and thanks for answering so quickly (and for the delicious looking recipe)!

  4. #
    Sarah R.posted May 12, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I had this same problem the first time I made it. I made it again for Mother’s Day brunch yesterday and made one little change: I measured out my 1 cup of reserved dry mix and cut 2 more tablespoons of butter into it.. The extra butter melted into the topping and made it the sweet, crumbly goodness that I hoped for. Rave reviews from my family!


  5. #
    MsTiaposted May 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I just made this coffee cake and it was delicious!!!! There was no way I could let it cool for 2 hours though! Thanks for sharing!


  6. #
    Jenposted June 27, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Just tried this cake, I was short of flour so I end up with halving all the ingredients but forgot to half the egg ( not that I would be able to get half an egg accurately lol) it turned out really fluffy!! Baked it in cupcake size for roughly 27mins! It’s illegally good!


  7. #
    Danielleposted July 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Sally! I recently found my way to your blog through Pinterest, and I’m so glad I did. The bright and pretty colors grabbed me instantly! I tried this coffee cake this past weekend – the first of your recipes that I’ve tried – and I loved it! It is so good, and by far the best coffee cake I’ve made at home. I couldn’t stop eating it and had to bring it to my parents’ to keep from eating the whole thing, haha. They loved it too! I’m so excited to have found your blog and can’t wait to try more recipes!


    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Thanks for the compliments, Danielle! So happy you found my blog and loved this coffee cake.


  8. #
    Holly Pposted July 22, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I have not made this recipe about 8 times. It has never failed me. Last time I made this, I wanted a different size, something that worked better for me so I decided to put it in a jumbo muffin pan. I cooked it at 350 for 25 minutes and they turned out perfect. My husband took some to work for breakfast and he said people were asking him where he bought them. These are still my favorite. My crumb gets nice and crunchy, stays that way and isnt too messy. The cake was still moist in the muffin pan and 25 minutes was perfect. This is my go to recipe. I also was able to get away with just whisking the batter with no problems, even with my bad wrist.


  9. #
    Dianaposted August 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I was craving coffee cake so bad and I knew I had to try this one! I added almond extract and made them into cupcakes – portion control you know ;). They were absolutely fantastic! Best coffee cake I’ve ever had! Super moist, buttery and the crumbs oh the crumbs! Definitely something I will be making again.


  10. #
    Cassyposted August 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I just made this coffee cake and it was amazing! I substituted half of the butter with applesauce and I used skim milk for the homemade butter milk. Thanks for the recipe!


  11. #
    Hayleyposted August 31, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Just made this today for the first time & I’m already in love with it! I couldn’t wait 2 hours to cut into it, but I restrained myself for 1 & the pieces still came off clean. It was my mid-afternoon snack with some coffee — I deserved it after running 10k :) I’ll be happy to make it again and again!


  12. #
    Alenaposted September 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Sally – Was wondering if you’ve ever tried this recipe with apples in it? Wanted to throw in 2.5 cups of granny smith. Do you think i need to cut back on the milk if I throw in the apples?


    • Sallyreplied on September 9th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Alena – apples would work wonderfully here. I would peel and dice them nice and small. I feel 2.5 cups is way too much, though. Reduce the milk only slightly. Enjoy!


  13. #
    Heatherposted September 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Yum!! This was delicious and I’m planning to make it for my meal swap group this month! I need to provide a 9×13 coffee cake though…would you recommend that I just double the recipe or… ? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on September 13th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Heather, I’m unsure about doubling the recipe. I fear there would be a bit too much batter. Could you make two separate coffee cakes in the pan size suggested?


  14. #
    Fatima Az-Zahraaposted September 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Hi, I tried the cinnamon rolls the other day! they were so delicious!!!! a million thanks for the recipe!!

    I would like to try this recipe and I was wondering if I can substitute milk for buttermilk.


    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Yep, buttermilk would be just fine.


  15. #
    Chloéposted September 22, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Sally! all your recipes looks so gorgeous!
    I’m a baking starter and I have some silly questions about the recipe.
    1. does ‘cup’ in the ingredient part means measuring cup ?
    2. and for the butter, do I just scoop the butter 10 times with the spoon, or can you give tell me how many grams it would be?

    Thanks so much for your recipe!!


    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Chloe – there are no silly questions when it comes to baking. A cup is a measuring cup, yes. In the US, we measure butter by Tablespoons and cup measurements. This amount of butter is equal to 175g.


      • Chloéreplied on September 25th, 2014 at 8:47 am

        thank you so much!! :)

  16. #
    Caitlinposted September 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Making this right now! It is in the oven now. I didn’t have a spring form pan and I was just curious as to what is the best way to get it out if you don’t have a spring form? I don’t want all the crumble to fall off when I am taking it out of the pan. I just got your cookbook a few days ago! I am in love!!! it is gorgeous


    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      An angled spatula would be ideal if you have it. Some crumb topping may fall off regardless!


      • Caitlinreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 7:40 pm

        Thank you so much! I’m afraid it came out a little over-cooked :( that’s what I get for trusting my family members to take things out of the oven for me….

  17. #
    tthusaposted September 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Sally!

    Firstly let me tell you that EVERYONE at my work loves your cakes ;)
    I’ve had now tried to make this cake twice, however it comes out undercooked. Not sure why. First time, the top caught too much and the cake was raw. Second time I did a slow cake for almost 90 min, but still the cake came out raw :(

    Please advise.

    Ps Congratulations on your wedding.


  18. #
    Pamelaposted October 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Hey Sally! I absolutely loved everything about this. So moist and fluffy! However, my crumbs were to fine and not chunky like the picture. Is it because of the size of the butter pieces?


    • Sallyreplied on October 14th, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Hi Pamela! The crumbs on my cake are always a little small. And yes, that has everything to do with the size of the butter pieces. If you’d like, you may leave your butter pieces a little larger than coarse crumbs when you are cutting it in.


  19. #
    Shelbyposted October 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Hi Sally,

    While looking for an easy Streusel type topping for some quick breads, I just happen to come across your Super-Crumb Coffee Cake. I can’t wait to bake it! One question – the 2/3 cup of brown sugar – is that dark or light, packed or granulated?

    I have made toppings in the past using only packed brown sugar and find the molasses taste too overpowering. I suspect if I tried using granulated light brown sugar instead, it will be a much more subtle flavor.

    Love your website and recipes and am looking forward to trying many of them. Thanks for sharing.


    • Sallyreplied on October 29th, 2014 at 8:23 am

      light or dark brown sugar works just fine here, though I prefer light. Thanks Shelby, enjoy!


      • Shelbyreplied on October 29th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

        Packed or granulated? I think the light would work better, also. Thanks Sally!

  20. #
    Andreaposted November 12, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Hi Sally,
    I have tried a couple of your recipes and have absolutely loved them! I just ordered your cookbook and can not wait for it to arrive! I’m planning on making this coffee cake in a couple of days and was curious if you could explain what the difference between using a springform pan vs a baking dish is (besides shape). I know springform pans are often recommended for cheesecake, coffee cake, etc. but am curious as to why this is. Thank you for your time!


    • Sallyreplied on November 12th, 2014 at 9:17 am

      springforms make it easy to cut into tall cakes. They cannot easily be removed from the pan (like a regular, unfrosted chocolate or vanilla cake for example). If you flipped this cake upside down to remove from the pan and cut into neat even slices, it would fall apart. Same with cheesecake. So springform pans are a must.


  21. #
    Rose-Ellenposted November 22, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Hello Sally. Regarding making homemade buttermilk for this recipe, your instructions said to measure 1 tablespoon white vinegar with one cup of milk. Since the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup buttermilk, do I measure out just 3/4 cup or do I use the whole cup of buttermilk?
    Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on November 23rd, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Yep, I measure out just 3/4 cup– or you can measure 3/4 cup of milk and add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. Sorry for that confusion! I will make that clearer in the recipe now.


  22. #
    Lauraposted November 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I made this today and all of my crumbs sunk into the cake while baking and disappeared. Why did this happen?


    • Melissa @ Bless this Messreplied on January 13th, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      The same things happened to me! It’s super ugly (and I’m supposed to take it to a party! LOL) I wonder what we did?! I’m sure it tastes good though!


  23. #
    Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen}posted November 30, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Made this yesterday- FABULOUS! Thanks for a winner, Sally!


  24. #
    Jenniposted December 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Holy moly I made this for breakfast this morning and it came out perfect! Super crumbly on top and light and moist in the middle with a perfect layer of crunch crust all on the bottom. Absolutely delicious! I think I’ll try adding some apple chunks next time for an extra kick.


  25. #
    Leisaposted December 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    This recipe is wonderful Thanks for sharing. I am using it for Christmas baking and placing in round, disposable tins. I had thought I would make cinnamon rolls, but elected to make this. I’m not sorry !


  26. #
    devjoga karposted December 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Sally i was not able to find a 9 inch springform pan nor a 9x9x2 pan. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to use a 10 inch springform pan?


    • Theresa Nicholsonreplied on January 1st, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Yes, you can do that no problem ;)


  27. #
    Sydneyposted December 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Made this Christmas morning for my fiancé. We loved it, such a fluffy cake! Thanks!


  28. #
    Shameyposted December 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Can you use low fat buttermilk .?


    • Sallyreplied on December 27th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      that should be fine


  29. #
    Theresa Nicholsonposted January 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I just took this out of the oven and I cannot wait for it to cool so Icahn try it! Looks and smells soooooo good! Thanks for sharing the recipe ;)


  30. #
    Theresa Nicholsonposted January 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Ok we couldn’t wait to dig in! Made some almond cream via and put a big dollop on a plate followed by a big slice of this warm coffee cake and let me tell you, it is DIVINE! Perfect with my first cup of coffee for 2015. Yum & Happy New Year!


  31. #
    Brittanyposted January 3, 2015 at 2:12 am

    I can not wait to make this tomorrow. Except i think I’ll make it as muffins instead. My kid will eat anything in “muffin” form (she’s an odd ball lol)


  32. #
    Mabelposted January 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I made the super crumb coffee cake last night and my thirteen year old daughter loved it and requested I make it for her birthday in July. She also added that this coffee cake is much better than Starbucks coffee cake. That made my heart happy. Thank you for posting your recipes.


  33. #
    Eshalposted January 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi, I had a craving for coffee , coffee cake and my daughters were asking for cupcakes. So I made 6 cupcakes out of half batter and mixed m&m for a fancy look but did put crumbs on the top and in the rest of batter I mixed 1 heaped teaspoon coffee granules and baked it in bread tin ,, and tadaaaaa It came out delicious. Crumble topping was out of world and my kids loved their cupcakes.
    thanx a lot for all your yummy recipes.


  34. #
    Coffee cake loverposted January 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    i used soymilk insteadof buttermilk and it came oit fine. it was so easy to make! I loved it!


  35. #
    Pedalpusherposted January 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I was excited to try this because I love the crumb topping on coffee cake, and this had a lot of it. I baked mine in a springform pan for 55 minutes. The crumb topping looks nothing like the topping shown in the pictures, and my cake is more of a golden color, and on the “tough” side.

    I have an electric oven, and wonder if that makes a difference. I also used a non-stick springform pan, but still greased it and floured the bottom. I wonder if that also makes a difference.

    If I make it again, I’ll tweak some of these other things and see if it makes a difference.


  36. #
    farrahposted January 27, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Hi sally,
    Just saw ur super crumb coffee cake in pin interest ,I am new to baking and would live to try out this recipient but before that I need a clarification and i hope u don’t mind me asking in this recipie when do we had the coffee..
    The recipie looks super easy and pics looks amazingly tempting..


    • Sallyreplied on January 27th, 2015 at 10:40 am

      “coffee cakes” don’t necessarily have coffee in them. I know it’s a little confusing! There is no coffee in this crumb cake recipe.


      • Farrahreplied on January 27th, 2015 at 11:09 am

        Thanks sally for your prompt reply.will bake this cake tomorrow n let u know how it turns out.

  37. #
    Kmposted January 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    My cake is only about an inch high ? Should it have risen more ?


  38. #
    Lori Arseneaultposted January 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I have been making this cake for months now, and today the batter and crumb mixture has totally inverted. Any ideas why that might happen? I have made 6 or more times and never happened before?


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